We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Haven Of Rest Gig Harbor
Anne passed peacefully on August 14, 2022, following a three-year battle with Multiple Myeloma. She was 75 years old.
Born in the small town of Elliot, Iowa on July 29th, 1947, Anne’s first memories began in a big farmhouse outside of town. She loved her family, as the youngest of two brothers and two sisters. Anne loved her days at the farmhouse. She named all of her kittens, dressed them in handmade clothes, and played baseball in the yard with just enough neighbor children to field a team. She learned how to ride a bicycle inside her house, played piano, sang in choirs, and made dear friends she would carry close for the rest of her life.
Days before her 16th birthday, Anne lost her beloved father Glendon Thomas Morgan. This was a monumental shift for her family, and she would devote her faith to God, faithfully sharing her need to hug her daddy again in heaven.
She attended college at Northwest Missouri State University, majoring in English, and her mother Dorothy attended as well. For a while, they lived together.
Anne met the love of her life, Denny Sapp in the winter of 1966.
Following college, and after Denny’s commission to the United States Navy, they wed and over the course of their 54-year marriage, they embarked upon a life fit for a movie script.
The Navy moved them to Florida and Anne’s first teaching position was in northern Florida at a school with more than 4000 students on the heels of racial integration. This experience would galvanize her advocacy for social justice.
In less than a year, Anne and Denny would move to California; Denny was deployed and began flying combat missions over Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. By 1970, most Americans had turned their gaze away from the Vietnam war. Anne turned her heart, attention, and faith to the spouses fighting alongside her husband. These lasting friendships were bedrock, foundational joys, of Denny and Anne’s years together.
Daughter, Dee Anne Sapp (Dee) was born November 1971 prior to Denny’s third (nine month) combat deployment. Their son, James Thomas Sapp (JT), was born August 1977 following Denny’s two years as solo pilot with the Blue Angels. There was much joy, fear, and faith while Anne mothered her babies. She loved her husband dearly.
In the early 80s, while living in Thousand Oaks, California, Anne started a learning assistance program at California Lutheran University (CLU). She would make lifelong friends with students, staff, and faculty. To some, she was considered a second mother, and Anne would offer wisdom, love, and attention to anyone in need. She drove a little yellow Porsche, loved chocolate mousse royal from Baskin Robbins, and hosted parties at their home. She loved the LA Times and the Lakers.
During the summer of 1986, it was time for a change. Anne and her husband moved their young family to Gig Harbor, Washington where they would remain for the rest of her life. With Denny flying commercially at this point, Anne focused her attention on her children, churches, and various volunteering opportunities. Anne visited hospice patients, and one time took a bucket of KFC quietly into a hospice facility to bring an elderly patient her favorite meal.
In 1988, her mother Dorothy passed away. She wrote poetry to soothe her aching heart.
Anne finished her career, teaching at Gig Harbor High School, in 2003. In her remaining five years of teaching, she was voted favorite teacher three times by her senior students. With her passion for teaching, she brought the world and the world’s conflicts directly to her students. She challenged them to see their role in the future, to understand our country’s history, and inspired her students to make a difference. They loved Mrs. Sapp.
After retirement, Anne and her husband would travel the world. For three years, they volunteered for a non-profit in efforts to curb human trafficking in Cambodia.
Anne ultimately found her church home at Agnus Dei Lutheran Church. And if you lived in “the Harbor”, you might have seen her standing alongside church members downtown raising signs supporting various social justice causes. Anne enjoyed spirited conversations about the books she read, politics, and passionately wove her personal, and professional experiences, into meaningful dialogue.
Anne’s diagnosis with Stage III Multiple Myeloma in August of 2019 was devastating. Anne fought this illness as passionately as she lived. She never sat idle, continued to travel to visit friends, and family to share her love. She lived in the moment every day of her remaining years. Anne never lost her humor, spirit, or faith. In her final days, she celebrated her 75th birthday, sat poolside watching her grandkids swim, and grabbed fistfuls of licorice when sitting down for conversation. She hugged and kissed all of her loved ones nearby. She laughed, teased, and joked… and had one final dance with her husband.
A good friend wrote recently about Anne, “if you knew her, you loved her. If she knew you, she loved you.”
She will be deeply missed.
Surviving family members include her husband, Dennis Sapp of Gig Harbor, Washington; daughter, Dee Reiff and husband Jeff; son, JT Sapp and wife Lexi; 3 grandchildren in Washington; sister, Marjorie Eshelman and husband Roger of Lake Mills, Iowa and sisters-in-law, Sharon Smith and husband Graig Smith of Red Oak, Iowa and Shirley Morgan of Clarinda, Iowa. Numerous nieces and nephews are Iowa and Nebraska residents, along with many other relatives and friends.